Sainsbury’s has bought out the Argos owner Home Retail Group for £1.2 billion.
The deal comes after four months of tough negotiations which saw South African rival Steinhoff abandon its bid to buy the group earlier today
Sainsbury’s said the buyout would allow it to become a "world-leading" retailer as the supermarket sector comes under intense competitive pressure, and will create £160 million of cost savings.
The UK grocery retail industry is undergoing a period of intense change in customer shopping behaviour and in the competitive environment.
We will create a multi-product, multi-channel proposition with fast delivery networks that we believe will be very attractive to the customers of both businesses."
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Sainsbury's could be drawn into a bidding war for Home Retail Group after it was announced the Argos owner is considering a rival offer from a South African-based retailer.
Steinhoff, which makes furniture, made the approach to the Home Retail board earlier today.
They are now reviewing the proposal and have asked shareholders to take no further action.
The news comes after Home Retail had previously said it was willing to recommend the Sainsbury's bid which valued the company at £1.3 billion.
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Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has tabled a proposed bid to take over Home Retail Group - the owners pf Argos and DIY chain Homebase - in a deal worth up to £1.3 billion, the retailer said.
Sainsbury's had an initial approach for Home Retail Group rejected in November, but the two sides were locked in negotiations over the weekend.
Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe said a potential tie-up would create the UK's largest non-food store, a £6 billion giant.
But analysts question whether Sainsbury's might be biting off more than it can chew by taking on Argos.
ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reported that shareholders in Home Retail Group would receive a 12% stake in the new business once a deal is finalised.
Sainsbury's agrees a deal to buy Argos from Home Retail Group. Paying £440m and giving HRG shareholders 12% stake in new business.
Sainsbury's Mike Coupe believes the financial terms of the deal are so "compelling" that shareholders from both companies will back it.
Chief among Mr Coupe's plans will be to leverage the power of Argos's online business and strong customer appetite for its click & collect service.
He also hoped to launch a raft of Argos concessions in Sainsbury's supermarkets in an effort to boost footfall.
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Sainsbury's has had an undisclosed approach for the £1 billion-valued group that owns Argos and DIY chain Homebase rejected.
The supermarket said it made an initial approach for Home Retail Group in November and is still deciding whether to table a former offer.
The supermarket, which made the approach amid an industry price war, said a combination of the two stores would create a strong food and non-food retailer with strong heritages.
Shares in Home Retail jumped 34% after details of the November approach emerged, while Sainsbury's stock slipped more than 3%.
Sainsbury's underlying pre-tax profit was down 17.9% to £308 million, results from the supermarket revealed on Wednesday.
Like-for-like sales were down 1.6% in the 28 weeks to September 26, while underlying group sales were down 2% to £13.6 million, compared to £13.9m in the same period last year.
Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe said: “The grocery retail marketplace remains challenging but Sainsbury’s is a great business, run by an experienced management team, supported by talented colleagues and strong values.
"I am confident we are making progress and we are looking forward to a successful Christmas, offering our customers fantastic products and great value."